Postpartum depression is a psychological disorder that presents different levels of severity. Let’s see what it is, what the symptoms are and how to treat it
Some women, after pregnancy, experience a mild and transient form of physiological malaise known as “baby blues”, which involves mood swings and crying spells. In other cases, on the other hand, they go against postpartum depression, which is a psychological disorder of longer duration, which can lead to childbirth psychosis, which is more serious but also rarer.
These disorders of a nervous nature must not be interpreted as a form of weakness or a character defect, but as real psychological pathologies, which must be treated promptly, in order to avoid risks for mothers and children.
Postpartum depression symptoms and duration
It is not always easy to identify the symptoms and realize that something is wrong, since, tendentially, women affected by such disorders tend to underestimate the problem and hide it from others. As for the baby blues, which occurs at 3-4 days after the birth of the baby and can last at most 1-2 weeks, there is usually: sadness, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, crying spells, difficulty of concentration, sleep disorders.
In the case of post-partum depression, however, which generally occurs from the third month to the first year after delivery, the symptoms are more pronounced, often preventing mothers from adequately caring for newborn children. So suffering from postpartum depression after 6 months of giving birth is not strange and this disorder can last for years, if not properly treated.
In general, this pathology is manifested by: insomnia (treatable with Australian flowers or melatonin), dejected mood, lack of appetite, fatigue, severe irritability and anger, feelings of shame, heavy mood swings, loss of sexual desire, lack of connection with one’s child, tendency to isolate oneself, self-injurious or negative thoughts towards the child.
If postpartum depression evolves into psychosis, which is certainly a rarer condition and can occur about 2 weeks after delivery, the symptoms are even more severe and intense. In fact, we find paranoia, confusion and disorientation, delirium, hallucinations, attempts to make oneself out of the sea or to do with the child.
Postpartum depression: causes and remedies
But what are the triggers of postpartum depression? And what are the possible remedies? The baby blues, usually, is due to the abrupt hormonal changes, which occur in new mothers immediately after birth, but also to anxiety due to the increasing responsibilities and contrasts with the partner or family members for the management of the child. As far as post-partum depression is concerned, the causes are not fully known. There are risk factors, which seem to affect the development of this disorder, namely:
- having suffered from anxiety or depression before and during pregnancy;
- be familiar with psychiatric conditions;
- having experienced stressful situations (mourning, separation);
- have precariousness of emotional relationships;
- have financial difficulties;
- suffer from premenstrual syndrome or thyroid function disorders.
How to get out of post-partum depression? To recover from this condition of psychophysical malaise it is necessary to ask for help, to undergo a cognitive-behavioral therapy and a drug therapy, prescribed by a specialist. Furthermore, to try to prevent its occurrence it is important to rest adequately in the first weeks after giving birth, follow a balanced diet, make vitamin D to the body, but also have a good relationship with your partner and your family.